It has been a very long road, starting way back in 2011 when RETN and VCAM were approached by a small group of community members who knew that the FCC was going to open up a new (and probably the last ever) low power FM licensing window the following year. We formed a committee and applied for a construction permit to build a radio station here at the Media Factory. Our construction permit was approved by the FCC in September of 2014 and station-building began in earnest.
Our deadline to get on the air and complete our filing with the FCC was in November of this year and we made it! with the invaluable help of our volunteers and staff, we were awarded an LPFM license from the FCC on December 12, officially bringing the “station building” phase of WBTV-LP to a close.
Now begins the job of putting all the hard work and planning into a continued, sustainable effort to keep WBTV-LP not just on the air, but a valuable, needed voice in the community. That’s where you come in! There are several ways you can get involved at the station. Here are a few ideas:
Stay tuned as we roll out several new local radio shows in January and February of 2018 — the first round of officially-licensed programming from WBTV-LP, Burlington!
Earlier this month, the Media Factory made it possible for me to attend the Grassroots Radio Conference in Albany, New York. Now that WBTV-LP is broadcasting, it was particularly exciting to be immersed in the culture of community radio and learn from people at all different levels of station development. Some120-150 people attended, representing community and LP stations from around the country. I learned a great deal about the operations, organizations, and visions of many grassroots radio businesses, took a lot of notes, and brought back some ideas for WBTV-LP to consider as we become more established on the Burlington radio airwaves. These are the presentations and workshops I attended:
Since returning to Vermont, I’ve joined the Grassroots Radio Conference listserv, and plan to keep an eye on correspondence coming out of that group. I’ll be going over my notes at the December WBTV-LP RAC Meeting, which is open to the public. If anyone is interested to learn more, please come to that meeting on December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Media Factor at 208 Flynn Ave.
After six years in the making, we finally got our antenna up and powered on at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 8 (just in time for the 25th South End Art Hop). This was a labor of love by dozens of dedicated community volunteers and our partners at VCAM and RETN. To say we are excited is the understatement of the year.
And catch our locally made programming for this fall!
WBTV-LP, Burlington is a new community radio station in the queen city, with a mission to connect people in Burlington with community radio that is created and curated locally, dedicated to the free and creative exchange of ideas and culture, and reflective of the diversity of our city. We do this by teaching the art of radio production and illuminating stories that are vital to our community. Our vision is to transform communities through participatory media and to create a unique radio landscape that inspires connection, collaboration and creativity.
The station is currently live-streaming at 993wbtv.org and will soon be broadcasting at 99.3FM on the radio dial. We have nearly 30 active community volunteers and two dozen shows in our schedule.
The WBTV-LP Station Coordinator is a shared position on behalf of Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM) and the Regional Educational Television Network (RETN) that will support the weekly operations of the station.
The Station Coordinator reports to VCAM’s Director of Media Services and works closely with VCAM and RETN staff and WBTV-LP community volunteers to ensure effective operations of the station. This is a part-time (10 hours/week) position with the potential for increased hours in the future.
• Creating and maintaining the on-air schedule with programmers, including managing automation and scheduling and assisting with creation of pre-recorded content such as: underwriting spots, PSAs, legal IDs, and submitted content.
• Acting as liaison in key communications between VCAM and RETN staff and the WBTV-LP Radio Advisory Council (RAC) and WBTV-LP programmers.
• FCC and licenser reporting, as needed
• Underwriting tracking and reporting
• Station document and database management
• Tech support coordination
• Scheduling and overseeing WBTV-LP studio usage
• Management of media content and storage
• General upkeep of the WBTV-LP space
• Attending some WBTV-LP committee meetings
• Outreach support, as available
• 1-2 years of leadership experience, preferably with volunteers, and proven project management.
• Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to maintain relationships with volunteers, VCAM and RETN staff, and the larger community.
• Effective and timely communication skills, across multiple platforms.
• Knowledge and/or experience in community media, preferably community/college radio.
• Working knowledge of tech skills in audio and media production.
Compensation: $15 – $18/hour, part-time
Applications due Friday, April 21.
WBTV-LP, VCAM and RETN are Equal Opportunity Employers (EOE), this includes providing equal opportunity to all applicants, regardless of their social identities. We strongly encourage women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and those with differing abilities to apply .
The final piece of our studio build was installed yesterday–the counter. It is new, it is shiny, it is custom made to ensure the studio is accessible, comfortable, and fits all the gear radio makers will need to broadcast!
We finish our first round of programmer training (yup, we have had 25+ folks getting trained up on station basics, the art of radio, and next, the studio tech). We will have these folks be our first “beta” schedule as we stream online later this fall.
Hot on the heels of getting online, we will raise a broadcast tower and pump out 100 watts of broadcast quality content to all of Burlington (and then some).
Can I still become a programmer?
Yup! We are always taking new apps, but you will have to wait till our next round of new programmer training (likely early in 2017) before you can join our first crew of programmers.
What can make this move faster?
I still have questions…